What every new metal purchaser should know

With an influx of long-time purchasers retiring, a new generation is filling their well-worn shoes. The hand-over is bringing fresh ideas and processes into many manufacturing purchasing departments—but it’s also bringing a few growing pains as well.

As a new purchaser navigating this terrain, you’ve likely uncovered countless online resources to help you find answers to your toughest questions, but there’s nothing like having a real human being to turn to for help. Fortunately, this invaluable resource is right at your fingertips as well—your Samuel Service Center sales rep.

Having worked in the metal purchasing space for quite some time—within countless companies and industries—we’ve seen it all, and there’s nothing we’d love more than to share this knowledge with you. Not only can we act as a sounding board for your questions and ideas, but we can leverage our years of experience to collaborate with you, help you find solutions to your problems—and, sometimes, identify overlooked cost-saving opportunities.


Pick the low-hanging fruit

One of the most important things to remember as a new purchaser is to look for the lowest overall cost, rather than the lowest price, when making purchasing decisions. In this context, there are countless different variables you can consider, but here are few items to consider:


  • Customize your contracts. When signing a purchasing contract, it’s critical to determine and clarify your preferred inputs—things like credit terms, delivery timelines and quality prerequisites.
  • Know your products. Understanding the type of quality product your manufacturing processes require—as well as the differences between domestic and imported metals—will make it much easier to determine which products you can safely order (and which metal you can’t). Similarly, you would be well-served to familiarize yourself with which materials are readily available on the floor versus those that need to be customized.
  • Choose the right quantities. Manufacturers sometimes worry about wasting metal because the size of a bundle exceeds their needs. However, ordering in quantity may confer cost savings. A Service Center rep can help you optimize your ordering processes, allowing you to save money down the road.
  • Minimize packaging. When possible, try to consolidate metal shipments. While this may require a bit of foresight and organization, it can translate into significant savings on packaging and delivery.


Ask for help

While these are common issues that every new purchaser will inevitably encounter, there are likely countless others that are unique to your industry and company. Our Samuel Reps will be more than happy to work alongside you to find a solution that’s right for you.

To learn more about how Samuel can help you in the early stages of your purchasing career, contact us.